31 May 2024

What's at WOVA? Take a walk through Woden's newest precinct

| Ian Bushnell
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Geocon founder and managing director Nick Georgalis poolside at WOVA: “More of that cosmopolitan lifestyle.” Photo: Ian Bushnell.

Residents of Woden’s newest precinct will start moving in by the end of June as the finishing touches are being made to Geocon’s WOVA development.

The four towers have risen at the corner of Melrose Drive and Launceston Street more or less on time despite the pandemic, economic pressures on the building industry and a landslip during Canberra’s big wet in 2022.

The project has delivered 802 apartments, 54 Abode Hotel rooms and 22 commercial tenancies, and offers to energise the western side of the Woden Town Centre.

There are only 70 apartments, including a penthouse, left for sale, and the commercial take-up on the ground floors has been one of Geocon’s most successful, with leading Canberra cafe franchise Eighty/Twenty locked in among other food and beverage businesses, as well as retail and a possible medical centre.

READ ALSO You’re invited to Winter WOVA-land: a fun introduction to Canberra’s vibrant new urban precinct

Geocon founder and Managing Director Nick Georgalis said the large number of apartments in one place made WOVA quite appealing for any commercial operator, whether it be an office, professional services, personal services, cafe or restaurant.

He said Woden’s street culture was starting to evolve away from the traditional clubs.

“You look at Woden, traditionally, it’s got the biggest clubs and most people had their meals in the clubs,” Mr Georgalis said.

“But now as we see so many dwellings getting delivered in the town centre, there’s more of a demand for that street culture, and that’s good to see because it’s more of that cosmopolitan lifestyle.”

Mr Georgalis said WOVA had benefited from Geocon’s previous experience developing the Republic precinct in Belconnen.

WOVA was more refined and offered better design solutions, he said.

For example, the siting of community amenities in one tower, with a separate lift, and indoor pool and sauna with an outdoor relaxation deck.

“I think it makes for a better end-user experience because it is Canberra and it is a cold climate,” Mr Georgalis said.

“We look at this as an experience and the indoor pool is a really good feature, but having the outdoor space that opens up to it for the summer months is a big thing.”

Other amenities include a gym; co-working space with a meeting room; games area, TV lounge and cinema; and kitchen and dining area, all open to every resident.

Once WOVA is fully completed, Geocon will turn its full attention to the Allara Street project in the city that has already commenced.

A couple of other exciting projects are coming up, but Mr Georgalis would not reveal what they may be.

“We like to keep our cards a bit close to our chest at the moment,” he said.

But for now, it’s business as usual at the Phillip Swimming and Ice Skating Centre across the road, which Geocon acquired in late 2022.

The company would not be saying anything until it was ready to.

“One thing we have learned over the years is spending more time planning and doing that work upfront before we actually hit the ground. It is really valuable and really important to refine what we do and understand how it gets delivered,” he said.

“Take the feedback from the community, planning authorities, market and everyone. So we’re certainly being quite calculated and precise in how we plan anything.”

The WOVA apartments start at $470,900 for a one-bedroom unit. The display two-bedroom apartment with two bathrooms visited in Tower 2 will cost $705,000, while the three-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment is $1,021,000. For the final penthouse left, set aside $1.5 million.

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On Saturday (1 June), Geocon will mark the completion of all four towers with a free community event, Winter WOVA-land.

A range of activities and vendors will be on hand to showcase the future of Woden, including complimentary food from Grease Monkey and Eighty/Twenty Cafe, alongside live music and entertainment from Boombox2U.

Visitors can also take a free tour of WOVA’s amenities and an Abode Phillip display room ahead of the hotel opening on Friday, 7 June.

Exclusive penthouse viewings are also available by appointment.

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Funny , many years ago when they started advertising this it showed green areas and a person on a bike , where is all of that now

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